There are holidays and then there are uber holidays, the ones which get stashed in the lifelong memory bank, where everything works out even better than you’d planned in your wildest, desk-bound imaginings.
Dreamcatchers, a glorious holiday villa in St Mawes, one of four properties in the St Mawes Retreats
stable, definitely falls into the latter camp.
We arrived on an unseasonably cold and wet Friday at the end of April, opened the door to our home for three days and fell headfirst into the gobsmacking view over the harbour and headland, a painterly scene of calm blue sea and bobbing white boats that was mesmeric from the outset.
The house has been cleverly designed to make the most of that stellar view with floor to ceiling glass windows and decked verandahs on both floors so you can spend all of your waking hours soaking up the sea, even from your bed.
And talking of beds, these are Hypnos (the Queen’s favourite, who knew?) with fat mattress toppers, beautiful linen and cloud soft pillows which pretty much guarantee a good night’s sleep and make it virtually impossible get up in the morning.
When you do, you can simply totter through to your balcony daybed, rocket fuel espresso in hand courtesy of the high tech, bells and whistles coffee machine.
Attention to detail is the USP at St Mawes Retreats which means anything and everything is possible through a concierge service. Fancy an art class at home or a spa treatment or a Cordon Bleu cooking lesson? No problem. Need a chef to cook your barbecue en terrace, or a skippered RIB or a last minute picnic hamper? All this can be arranged with a quick call to your concierge.
Laid back luxury is the speciality here and I think that’s what makes it transcend from the regular (still wonderful) bucket and spade experience to the kind of holiday it’s hard to come back down to earth from.
On Saturday we woke to brilliant sunshine and a two hour kayaking session along the estuary, weaving in and out of boats, coasting past perfect little bays and generally feeling at one with the water. Yes we were back in the bliss bubble.
St Mawes itself is a picturesque, boat-y, seafaring town with everything you could possibly want for a mini break. There are two brilliant hotels for cocktails and dinner, the Tresanton and the Idle Rocks, (St Mawes Retreats can organise your babysitting), a small beach which is perfect for rock scrambling, a beautiful old castle to wander around and every kind of water sport (sailing, kakaying, paddle boarding, power boating, we booked ours through St Mawes Kayaks
Older children will love the freedom to meander safely into town to buy the obligatory holiday tat or for fish and chips, eaten the trad way, sitting on the harbour wall.
Or you can take the St Mawes ferry (old fashioned, Swallows & Amazons style) over to St Anthony's headland.
Mostly though you’ll need to be in position at Dreamcatchers counting down the minutes until the holiday idyll ends and knowing when it does that you’re going to have to come back. More info from http://www.stmawesretreats.co.uk/